what is the neutral colors in a persons face?

what us the neutral colors in the face, and why is it important to mix the colors


  • For one thing, human flesh, especially Caucasian, is less colorful than is often painted, especially in the beginning stages of learning to paint. Flesh of most races is loosely based on orange (yellow red some say), ranging from very dark to very light. The problem is that it's not THAT orange. Thus, we need a way to tone down our warmer flesh tones.

    One way is to use compliments. Thus, blue will tone down orange, but sometimes, you can spend a lot of time fiddling with the blue/orange mix trying to find the right blend.

    Another way to go about it is to premix a few neutral grays, which can be made from ivory black, white, and something to cut ivory black's tendency to shift toward blue. Two of the best additions for neutrals is raw umber or burnt umber. I mix a neutral black, and then a value 7, 5, and 3. By mixing between these four, I can achieve nearly a full range of neutrals. These can then be mixed with your flesh tones to achieve the delicate tones needed to express flesh.

    I know of one well known portrait painter who uses two reds (Indian and Venetian) plus yellow ocher, and a string of neutrals made from ivory black and raw umber. Indian red contains the blue component of flesh, while Venetian contains the orange component . . . effectively using compliments to control tone.

    Also, I think Mark's system of three colors plus burnt umber and white is the most effective I've come across. The way he teaches color mixing takes into account the use of complements automatically.
  • thank you broker 12 i understand better thank you for explaining. i realy appreiciate
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